Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.

Alabama pauses executions after multiple failed attempts. That doesn't sit well with this ex-sheriff

  • Updated
  • 0
prison guard tower

Gov, Kay Ivey orders review after last 2 inmate executions failed.

Convicted Colbert County killer Kenneth Eugene Smith is back on death row as Gov. Kay Ivey orders a "top to bottom" review of the state's execution process following his failed execution last week.

Smith was condemned to die last Thursday, but the state could not complete the process.

He was convicted of killing Elizabeth Sennett on March 18, 1988, on Coon Dog Cemetery Road in Colbert County. For the victim’s families, this marks yet another delay in justice.

It is something former Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May says isn’t fair. May worked the Sennett case and has continued to keep in touch with her family even after he retired from law enforcement. 

“The defendants can drag these things on for 30-plus years, and a lot of folks don’t think about the families, the victims' families. They end up with a 30-plus year sentence, also. They can’t move on, and they have to relieve all that sorrow and a loss," May told WAAY 31 on the phone Monday, following Ivey's announcement.

Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm said he agrees with Ivey. He said ADOC is "fully committed to this effort and confident that we can get this done right.”

Ivey asked Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall to withdraw the state’s two pending motions to set execution dates in the cases of Alan Eugene miller and James Edward Barber, the only two death row inmates with such motions currently pending before the Alabama Supreme Court. Marshall has not released a statement in response to that request yet.

Have a news tip, question or correction? Email us at

Recommended for you